On July 2, 2018, Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan published a signed article on the People’s Daily under the title An Open China and a Win-Win World – On the Release of the White Paper “China and the World Trade Organization”. Following is the full text of the article.
An Open China and a Win-Win World
– On the Release of the White Paper “China and the World Trade Organization”
This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up and the 17th anniversary of its World Trade Organization (WTO) accession. President Xi Jinping stressed that “Reform and opening-up is a great process that has seen China and the rest of the world achieve development and progress together.” Since it joined the WTO, China’s relations with the rest of the world are increasingly close and deepened, a vivid example of China’s reform and opening-up. On the new starting point, China, guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, will steadfastly deepen reform and opening-up, support the improvement of the multilateral trading system, push forward liberalization and facilitation of global trade and investment, build a new type of international relations centered on win-win cooperation, and build a community with a shared future for mankind.
China’s accession to the WTO has delivered a strong boost to its reform and opening-up process.
In 2001, China acceded to the WTO. This was a milestone in China’s integration into economic globalization, marking a new historic stage of reform and opening-up. President Xi once said: “There was a time when China also had doubts about economic globalization, and was not sure whether it should join the World Trade Organization. But we came to the conclusion that integration into the global economy is a historic trend. To grow its economy, China must have the courage to swim in the vast ocean of the global market. If one is always afraid of bracing the storm and exploring the new world, he will sooner or later get drowned in the ocean. Therefore, China took a brave step to embrace the global market. We have had our fair share of choking in the water and encountered whirlpools and choppy waves, but we have learned how to swim in this process. It has proved to be a right strategic choice.” Since its accession to the WTO, China has pressed ahead with reform and development by opening up while taking part in international economic cooperation and competition on a larger scale and at a deeper level, unleashing market dynamics and effectively advancing the reform and opening-up process. We have actively improved the socialist market economy system, extensively reviewed and revised laws and regulations and strengthened the market system to straighten out the relationship between the government and the market so that the market plays a decisive role in resources allocation and the government plays its role better. China has comprehensively honored its WTO commitments, with commitments for goods and services delivered in full in 2010 and 2007 respectively, a continuously lowering threshold for foreign investment, and strengthening protection for intellectual property in a landscape of all-dimensional, multi-tiered and wide-ranging open-up. Efforts are made to boost international competitiveness as all sectors turn pressure into driving force and make opportunities out of challenges to advance industrial restructuring and integrate into global value chains with enhanced competitiveness and innovation to weather the storms of the world economy.
Since its accession to the WTO, China has made important contributions to the world.
Accession to the WTO has boosted China’s development and benefited the rest of the world. President Xi Jinping once noted, “When assessing China’s development, one should not only see what benefits the Chinese people have gained, but also how much hard effort they have put in; not just what achievements China has made, but also what contribution China has made to the world.” Over the past 17 years since it became a member to the WTO, China has opened its door wider and wider, promoted reform and growth through opening-up and contributed greatly and continuously to the world. China has added impetus to the world economy. Acceding to the WTO has markedly widened the room of opening-up in the country. China has comprehensively deepened opening-up and international cooperation, and pressed ahead with the Belt and Road Initiative. Trade and investment in China have soared, fueling growth in the world economy. Between 2001 and 2007, the value of goods and services imports totaled 20 trillion U.S. dollars and 3.7 trillion dollars respectively. China’s foreign direct investment and outward direct investment exceeded 1.1 trillion dollars and 1.6 trillion dollars respectively, creating plenty of trade and investment opportunities as well as jobs. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, China has become the main stabilizer and powerhouse of the world economy, with its contribution to global growth surpassing 30 percent. China has made global development more inclusive. Upholding the fundamental principles of openness, transparency, inclusiveness, and non-discrimination of the multilateral trading system, China is committed to sharing benefits of economic globalization among different countries, groups and communities. China takes the initiative to open up its market by announcing the China International Import Expo to be hosted as a new platform for countries to share the dividend of China’s development. China has become a key trading partner for more than 120 countries and regions, and accorded zero tariff treatment on 97 percent of tariff lines to 36 least developed countries (LDCs) that have diplomatic relations with China and completed the exchange of notes. China has offered more assistance to developing countries, especially the LDCs, to help them better integrate into the global value chain. China has helped improve the global economic governance system. China advocates equal consultation and cooperation and advocates an open world economy. China supports the WTO, G20, APEC, BRICS and other multilateral and regional mechanisms in playing a bigger role, and developing countries in gaining greater representation and say in international business affairs. China has put forward more initiatives, plans and proposals, offering wisdom and strength to a more fair and reasonable global economic governance system.
China will stick to an open and win-win path in the new era.
Opening-up is the path China must take to achieve prosperity and development. President Xi Jinping pointed out that “What has happened proves that opening-up was key to China’s economic growth over the past 40 years and in the same vein, high-quality development of China’s economy in the future can only be achieved with greater openness”. At present, the world is undergoing great development, transformation and adjustment. The road to world economic recovery is hard and tortuous; economic globalization experiences twists and turns; and unilateralism and protectionism are on the rise. These are the challenges facing all countries. Under the new conditions, China will adhere to its fundamental national policy of opening-up, actively promote international cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, and strive to create a future that is open, innovative, inclusive and mutually beneficial. We will unswervingly promote opening-up on a higher level, significantly relax market access, create a more attractive environment to investment, implement high-standard policies of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, explore building free trade ports with Chinese characteristics, and make new ground in pursuing opening-up on all fronts. We firmly support an open world economy, defend WTO rules, support the multilateral trading system, promote regional economic integration, facilitate the building of free trade areas, oppose protectionism in all its forms and manifestations, take the initiative in opening the market, and push economic globalization in the direction of becoming more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all. China remains committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind, follows the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration in engaging in global governance, and works to build a framework for major country relations featuring overall stability and balanced development. China will deepen relations with its neighbors in accordance with the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness. China will, guided by the principle of upholding justice while pursuing shared interests and the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity, and good faith, work to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries. China will fulfill its international responsibilities and obligations, advance international economic cooperation and exchanges, and promote common development.
Economic globalization is an irreversible trend of the time. The multilateral trading system, with the WTO at its core, underpins international trade and enables its healthy and orderly development. China will continue to be an active participant in, steadfast supporter of, and important contributor to the multilateral trading system. China will pursue high-quality development with high-standard opening-up, and share the opportunities and benefits with other countries as it opens up further. This is a strategic decision based on China’s own development needs, and a concrete action to deliver the benefits of economic globalization to people around the world.